Weston McKennie and Juventus couldn’t hang on to claim all of the points against their crosstown rivals while Tanner Tessmann and Venezia would have surely wanted more in their draw against Genoa.
Juventus 1 – 1 Torino
Initially left on the bench to rest up for next week’s Champions League knockout clash, Weston McKennie played most of the second half for Juventus in the 206th edition of the Derby della Mole against Torino.
While Torino did show some early bite, the hosts wasted little time in stamping their authority on the proceedings.
Adrien Rabiot was tantalizingly when he broke free on the left and just missed his low shot at the far post in the 11th minute. Then Matthijs de Ligt put them ahead two minutes later, rising high beyond the far post to head a corner from Juan Cuadrado over the line for the 1-0 advantage.
McKennie came on for Paulo Dybala shortly into the second half, and almost made an immediate impact, streaking into the right side of the area, only to see his shot from 15 yards blocked my Gleison Bremer in the 56th minute.
Torino kept up the fight against their powerhouse hosts, and scrapped out an equalizer two minutes past the hour. Josip Brekalo fought towards the endline on the left, and hit a low cross back towards the edge of the six-yard box. Andrea Belotti struck a volleyed shot on the half-turn, with the ball just evading Wojciech Szczesny’s clutch to earn the point.
The draw draw doesn’t hurt Juventus’ place in the standings, as Atalanta failed to capitalize by losing to Sampdoria on Sunday. The result gives the Bianconeri a three-point gap ahead of La Dea in the chase for the fourth Champions League spot.
They will travel to Villarreal for the first-leg of their Champions League Round of 16 knockout game on Tuesday, with McKennie almost certainly expected to start, then visit Empoli in Serie A action four days later.
Venezia FC 1 – 1 Genoa
Tanner Tessmann played the final quarter-hour for Venezia on Sunday afternoon, as the team failed to make the best of an early lead in a disappointing draw at home against fellow relegation battlers Genoa.
Gianluca Busio was suspended for the game due to yellow-card accumulation, and was not in uniform.
Venezia came into the game knowing that anything short of a win against one of their other direct opponents in the relegation battle would be a huge missed opportunity.
They took an early step towards achieving victory as they already took the lead in the 13th minute. Mattia Aramu delivered a corner from the left, which was headed on at the near post by Pietro Ceccaroni. Thomas Henry was lurking on the far side of goal, and connected with his uncontested header for the lead.
This advantage only lasted until the half-hour. Mattia Destro fed Caleb Ekuban from the right; the Ghanian forward wove into the area near the middle, outfoxing his marking defenders before hitting a low shot into Sergio Romero’s goal.
Tessmann entered for Frenchman Michael Cuisance in the 75th minute, and managed to force Genoa keeper Salvatore Sirigu into a save of his shot from distance three minutes after stepping onto the field.
Nevertheless, both teams held firm with the referee’s whistle after five minutes of injury time confirming a share of the spoils to each.
The result does see Venezia momentarily rise above the relegation places, which is unlikely change after Cagliari’s Monday-night clash with Napoli. Nevertheless, the home draw will be disappointing, as dropping two points against a direct competitor could come back to bite them later in the season.
They will next be on the field on Sunday when they visit Hellas Verona, an opponent who likely still triggers episodes of PTSD in fans after the team blew a 3-0 lead, eventually losing 4-3 in their last meeting in November.
Brescia 2 – 2 Frosinone
Andrija Novakovich played the final 20 minutes of Frosinone’s wild draw at Brescia, which saw the visitors gain, and then lose the lead in the final two minutes of regulation.
Camillo Ciano put Frosinone in the lead in the 34th minute with a low-powerful strike from the right side of the area to beat a crowd of defenders, however the hosts equalized in first-half injury time when Matteo Tramoni found space on the left, forced Frosinone keeper Federico Ravaglia to charge off his line, and nailed his low shot for 1-1.
Novakovich came in after 70 minutes in place of starting striker Gabriel Charpentier, although the real fireworks began shortly before the end of regulation.
First, Luigi Canotto looked to have provided the 88th-minute winner for Frosinone when he adeptly controlled a sharply-struck forward pass into the area, took a few steps goalwards, and struck a beauty that clanged off the far post and into goal.
However, Brescia had the last laugh, when in a desperate scrum in the Frosinone area that saw several shots blocked in rapid succession, the ball landed at the foot of Federico Proia for a strike from five yards to earn the final 2-2 result.
The draw drops Frosinone out of the playoff spots; they now occupy ninth place in Serie B, and will host Reggina on Tuesday evening.
Neither Giuseppe Barone nor Anthony fontana, who was finally announced as an Ascoli signing on Friday, suited up for their team on Saturday in their 3-0 home victory over US Alessandria in Serie B. Ascoli have now climbed into the promotion playoff spots, where they are currently in seventh.